I listed quite a few complaints last month like the seagulls to other events and construction at the hotel. All of my complaints were resolved for the May show. The seagull population was greatly reduced. There were more parking spots. There was no construction outside of our room. I had a minor issue with the Honor Flight event -- they stole my cart. It is hard not to support the Honor Flight stuff but please do not come into my event and steal my cart!
I had a couple of new dealers for the May show. Don who owns a card shop in Freeport, Illinois, had three tables filled with modern and vintage. I noticed he had quite a few 1966 Topps baseball, but like most collectors, I forgot my list. Don, who reported strong sales, is setting up again at the June show. I will make sure I bring my list!
New dealer Mike had some great vintage cards on his table. I spotted a nice 1966 Topps Maris in his display case but of course I was not sure if I needed it. Mike will also be at the June show.
My sales were once again strong, as they always are at the Clarion Show. Jerome found a nice pile of cards in my newly reloaded 1967 Topps binder. Andy from Orlando was in town and found quite a few cards. We ended up making some trades. Andy always brings a nice box of cards for trading purposes. I pulled out some nice 1953 and 1956 Topps baseball. Andy told me he had some trouble getting the box of cards on the airplane from Orlando to Milwaukee. Apparently boxes of baseball cards are now deemed suspicious by TSA. This Trump guy is really going overboard.
Brent came down from Fond Du Lac and, like Andy, brought a nice group of cards to trade. I picked up all sorts of goodies from Brent like 1950 Bowman baseball and 1952 Topps.
Bill came up from Antioch and like Andy and Brent, he also brought me some cards. A big thank you to Jerome, Andy, Brent, Bill and everyone else who bought cards from me, traded and sold me cards. What a fun day!
Larry brought a box of Dunkin Donuts to share. Thanks Larry!
Attendance was a little lighter than I would have liked but we had a nice group of young guys in the room, who bought a bunch of modern cards, along with our usual array of vintage collectors.
I have a really good group of dealers right now. I hope to keep this group and need more folks to attend the show. To encourage attendance, I am going to bring out a couple of boxes of free doughnuts for the June 3rd show along with a box-o-free-coffee. I also purchased a box of 2017 Topps baseball cards and will be giving out a free pack to all who attend. All the dealers from the May show are coming back for June. Also, I have one new dealer Greg K., who up until recently, owned a card shop in Oak Creek, WI. Trevor, who was pretty popular at the April show is returning for June. That makes 11 dealers for the June show. Come on out on June 3rd!
Holding court at the May Schaumburg Show are Woj, Fred and Larry, pictured above.
So after going just with my display cases for the April show, I went just with my binders for the May show. Binders trump display cases. I had a much better show. Old friend Chuck purchased my JFK non-sports cards. I have been adding lots of cards to the non-sports binder lately. Non-sports cards are starting to come my way a little more.
Another customer cleared out my 1971, 72 and 73 football binders. She said she was building lots to sell at auction. She also cleared out my quarter binder. Willie purchased a bunch of stuff. I sold cards to a few other guys as well.
On the buying front, I purchased a 1964 Topps Mickey Mantle. I also purchased a bunch of 1956 Topps baseball commons. Fred had a Maris rookie that I should have purchased but I was too slow to pull the trigger and someone else got it. All in all, it turned out to be a nice day in Schaumburg.
Sunday, May 21, 2017, Gonzaga Hall, Milwaukee, WI
It was nice to be back at Gonzaga Hall after missing the April show. Quite a few folks commented on my absence. Many asked why I missed the show. Others, who read this blog, asked about Cleveland. One vintage dealer commented on how his sales were boosted by my absence and that of Mark Smith.
Well, traffic was a little light for a Gonzaga show but it did not affect my sales. My early morning regulars flocked to my binders and found many cards for their sets. My most recently reloaded baseball binder, 1967 Topps, got quite a work out. Lots of guys seemed to be digging through my 1959 and 1960 baseball binders.
Jack flipped through a bunch of binders and found cards to send out for autographs. Eric and his son were back working on their Cubs sets. I had one customer purchase a bunch of rookies out of my display case including a 1969 Topps Rollie Fingers and 1968 Topps Johnny Bench. Another customer purchased just about all of the publications in my binder. I actually got Terry to spend a little money at my table. Terry prefers to trade.
George found some cards for his Braves team sets. We got to chatting and he told me that in 1971, he put a classified ad in the Milwaukee Journal announcing that he purchases baseball cards. He told me he had a great response and was able to purchase cards from the 1950s for a penny a piece. Man, I wish I could go back in time.
Back here in the present, I have a really nice inventory right now, especially in my display cases which always brings the question, "Where do you get all of this stuff?" As I have said before, most of my inventory comes from purchases made at card shows. I set up just about every weekend and I buy cards at each show. I buy anywhere from 20 to 20,000 cards each week, depending on what folks bring to my table or what I may find on another dealer's table.
This ability to consistently find vintage cards at reasonable prices did not happen over night. It has taken years to develop relationships and to be able to find cards on other dealer's tables at a price where I know I can make a little money. Though, I believe anyone can do it. All you need is a passion and a little dedication.
So, on the buying front at the May Gonzaga show, I purchased a few of Eric's doubles. I also purchased a small group of 1962 Topps from Terry. Then autograph dealer Mike S. surprised me with a pile of pre-War cards. Thanks Mike! Lastly, Steve from Appleton brought me a bunch of free stuff, including 1961 Fleer
Greats of the Game. Thanks Steve!! Pictured below are some of my pick-ups from the show.
On a different note, I would like to talk about Candy Kilps. Candy and her husband Leroy along with Mike Rodell and his wife founded the Wisconsin Sports Collectors Association in 1975 -- the first year I started collecting cards! I wish I could have attended those early WSCA shows!! As you know, the WSCA runs the monthly Gonzaga show.
Candy passed away on May 8th at the young age of 65. She has had some health issues in recent years. Her husband Leroy gave me a tough time when I first started setting up at the Gonzaga show. He eventually warmed up to me. Candy was always nice. I looked forward to her biting wit and delicious cake every month for years.
Some nice words were said at the May Gonzaga show and we all took a moment of silence in Candy's honor. She will be missed. My condolences to her family and friends.
I have said this before, I believe there needs to be some sort of sports card collecting hall of fame. Candy is a certain hall of famer.
Sunday, May 28, 2017, Orland Park Civic Center
This was my sixth show in Orland since my two-year hiatus. I can't say enough about promoter Rich Troy. What a nice guy. Each show he raffles off really great stuff. At the May 28th show, he raffled an autographed Ryne Sandberg baseball mitt.
The crowd seemed a little light, mostly likely due to the Memorial Day weekend. Sales were a little better than the last couple of shows. Rick purchased my 1961 Bazookas along with some cards from my 1967 Topps binder. Will purchased all of my 1972 Hockey. Dan found some cards in my binders. A regular customer purchased most of my 1967 Topps baseball stars out of my display case. Quite a few guys dinked around my binders and found some cards.
I have two customers named Chris at this show. The first Chris purchased a bunch of White Sox cards. The second Chris purchased some 1967s along with my 1959 Topps Football Jim Taylor. We got to talking about cards with the picture of the wrong player. The 1959 Taylor is such a card.
It is always great to see Paul, who found a few 1971s for his set. Larry from Berwyn brought some cards to trade. We usually can make a deal where I take all the cards he brings. This time I felt he wanted a little bit too much for the cards and I cherry picked a nice 1960 Topps Eddie Mathews and a 1962 Topps Ernie Banks. Thanks Larry!
On the buying front, I bought a few 1970s football cards from Junior along with a Bob Dylan poster. I bought all sorts of stuff from Jim, as usual, including some autographs, ticket stubs, photos, and 1960s and 1970s football. When things slowed down at my table around noon, I spent the rest of the day at Jim's table working on my 1966 set. I found 19 cards and am down to 101 cards.
Some random observations from the Orland show. Attendance just isn't what it used to be. There were a few empty dealer tables. Will and I were commenting on the lack of vintage dealers. When I left the show two years ago, the room was more than half vintage. I'd say now it is 3/4ths modern. I sure would like to see more vintage dealers and collectors at future shows.
Anyway, a big weekend is coming up with my Clarion show on Saturday, June 3rd. I have a packed house of dealers. I may bump up to the larger Mitchell Room if I get any more dealers in the next couple of days. I plan on picking up a couple boxes of doughnuts and a box-o-joe. I have already purchased a box of 2017 Topps baseball of which I will be giving out free packs. If I run out, I will purchase another box of cards from one of the dealers and give those out to make sure everybody gets a pack of cards. Clarion show runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 5311 S. Howell in Milwaukee. Hope to see you there!!